The Chaos Scenario

I found Bob Garfield's AdAge article "The Chaos Scenario" filled with clear and precise observations -- an effective summation of this media biz moment.  Although it is ultimately geared for the ad biz, it speaks to the prospects of mass media in general.  Itmight has well have been subtitled "The Sky Is Falling, Part Two", yet, as may be my way, I find it ultimately hopeful.

As ad revenue has supported both our culture and the drivers to our culture, and since the days of ads having any sort of mass impact are over, the old way of the media biz is over.  We have witnessed the colossal drop of stock value across all forms of media companies (well, I guess except Netflix).  They will soon be all changing dramatically.  It is going to be a long haul before the new model is found and grows stable.  It is the end of the world as we know it (which happens to be one of my son's favorite songs of the moment -- another sign of the happy apocalypse fantasy...)
It's well worth reading and pondering.  Among it's many great quips:
The future is bright. But the present is apocalyptic. Any hope for a seamless transition -- or any transition at all -- from mass media and marketing to micro media and marketing are absurd.

Mass media thrived on the economics of scarcity. The internet represents an economy of unending abundance.

The audience doesn't imagine that all cars want to be free, or that all toasters want to be free, or that all paper towels want to be free, but it somehow believes that all content wants to be free.

Wenda Harris Millard, co-CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia: "Advertising simply cannot support all the media that's out there."

The average price of reaching 1,000 households with a 30-second spot in prime time, according to Media Dynamics, has jumped from $8.28 in 1986 to $22.65 in 2008 -- but effectively more like $32, because between 150 and 200 of those 1000 households use DVRs to skip past the ads.

Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable: "People are saying, 'All I need is broadband. I don't need video (aka "cable").'"

Rothenberg,president of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, details, "Today the average 14-year-old can create a global television network with applications that are built into her laptop. So from a very strict Econ 101 basis, you have the ability to create virtually unlimited supply against what has been historically relatively stable demand." -- So the biggest online publishers, with all their vast overhead, have no more access to audience than Courtney the eighth-grader.